Training & Nutrition

Training with a Cold: The Dos and Don’ts

Admitting when it's time to rest instead of ride can be tough.

The dreaded cold and flu is doing the rounds at present. What a pain in the backside. We can almost handle the completely blocked head and the nasal tone to our voices, but enforced time off the bike is really what tips us over the edge. What a nightmare. 

One of the hardest things about being ill is identifying when you are well enough to train and when you should take a break. The fear of losing fitness looms at the back of our minds like a dark cloud influencing our decisions when it comes to training with a cold.

If you take one thing from this article, let it be this – if your cold is above your throat, you are ok to train. If it is below, you must step away from the bike.

“If it is below the throat you have a risk of infection developing on the chest which will affect the respiratory system which is vital in order to get the oxygen in for your breathing. So the last thing you want is to develop some weird or wonderful virus on the chest by training when you shouldn’t be,” says Claire Lee, a cycling coach of Lee Valley Velo Park.

“If you are developing a cold, give yourself a break. Let the body start fighting the cold. When it is just above the throat, you just have the runny nose, you are fine to start working out, just take care and listen to your body. Remember your body will be fighting hard to fight that virus. Below the throat is a big no no,” she continues.

Our immune systems are particularly low at this time of year. Alcohol and the deviance from a normal healthy diet wreak havoc with your immune system so be sure to take a multi-vitamin tablet. Vitamin C and Zinc combination tablets are particularly effective when it comes to steering clear of the cold virus.



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